The Complete Guide to Landscape Lighting on a Budget

Over the years, the landscape lighting industry has grown significantly and is expected to continue expanding.

Today, most homeowners are starting to understand the benefits of landscape lighting, which explains the upward trajectory. However, getting the proper landscape lighting can take time due to the many available options. With the right skills and know-how, getting the ideal one should be easy.

You’re in luck if you’re searching for landscape lighting to optimize your home exterior. This blog outlines what you need to know about landscape lighting. You’ll learn how to develop a budget, choose the proper lighting, common mistakes to avoid, and more.

What is Landscape Lighting?

Landscape Light

To start, you must understand what landscape lighting is. It refers to outside illumination that you can use to brighten gardens, driveways, patios, and decks. Also referred to as garden lighting, landscape lighting is typically used to improve home aesthetics and enhance security around your home.

Due to its wide acceptance, it has become reasonably necessary for homeowners to install landscape lighting. Most individuals today may decide to install the lighting by themselves. However, if you don’t have enough skills and tools, you may end up wasting your resources.  

That’s why you should outsource the services from a reputable provider. Over the years, contractors such as Washington Outdoor Landscape Lighting have created a reputation for delivering quality customers to their customers. However, examining their certification is crucial to ensure you’re working with a regulatory-complying provider. Also, review the provided testimonial to gauge the quality of their services.

What are the Best Type of Landscape Lighting?

The list below discusses some standard lighting systems for your landscape. They include:

01. Inground Lighting

Inground Lighting

This is referred to as well light; inground lights are installed directly into the ground. They’re mainly used to light up driveways and walkways. Installing inground lighting will help optimize the visibility and sophistication of structures you wouldn’t see on a typical night. 

Inground lights are also used to illuminate your driveways. Thus, it’s crucial to choose one that can sustain heavy weight. Additionally, getting an LED option that can last longer is advisable. 

Most people combine well light with spotlights to improve visibility. However, it’s crucial to invite your contractor, who will advise you on the best way to combine the two.

02. Floodlights and Spotlights

Flood Lighting

These two terms mean the same thing to most people. However, there’s a distinct difference between the two. Spotlights have a narrow, concentrated light beam which is usually 45 degrees. It’s mainly used to accentuate specific structures such as monuments.

On the flip side, floodlights have a wide beam of 120 degrees. Homeowners install floodlights to cast light on garden walkways and other general areas. 

When choosing between the two, it’s crucial to understand your specific need. Additionally, it’s necessary to understand the particular beam spread to choose the correct position to install your light.

03. Step Lights

Steps Lighting

They’re primarily used to illuminate outside steps or stairs, improving safety. Also, they can be installed directly into the hardscape to elevate and highlight the architectural details of your outdoor space. Additionally, you can use step lights to improve mood in your outdoor entertainment areas.

How to Choose the Right Landscape Lighting?

Here are some factors to consider to guarantee the right landscape lighting system. They include: 

01. Purpose

Each type serves a different purpose. Thus, it’s essential to understand your specific needs before choosing a lighting system. This guarantees you get the most out of your lighting system, improving your return on investment (RoI). The purpose can include aesthetics, ambiance, or safety.

02. Energy Use

Avoid getting a lighting system that consumes too much energy. Besides increasing your monthly bills, such systems may harm the environment. Hence, take your time to guarantee an energy-efficient system to light your landscape and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

03. Technology

Advancements have helped transform modern landscape lighting. Gone are the days when you needed to be physically available to control your lighting. Now you can install remotely-controlled systems and ensure you have complete control at your fingertips.

04. Home Location

If you live in a rural setup, installing the lights you want is easy. However, if you live in a small house with limited space, you’ll have to think about the best place to place your lights. This guarantees you enjoy their benefits while considering your neighbors. Otherwise, you risk having bad relations with them, leading to complaint issues.

05. Budget

Landscape lighting is a costly investment. Thus, it’s crucial to come up with a proper budget. The following are tips to help plan a budget for the perfect outdoor light:

Create a List of Needs And Nice-To-Haves

When planning your budget, outline the must-have features for your landscape. The needs vary from one homeowner to another. For instance, you can install garden lighting to illuminate your favorite plants. Then, your neighbor can install a similar system to improve their home security.

It would be best if you prioritized your needs. However, if you have excess money, consider getting desirable features until you max out your budget.

Look Into Financing Options

There are several ways you can use to finance your project. They include:

01. Saved Money

If you have any savings, decide how much you will spend on your landscape lighting project. This will guide you when creating a budget and ensure you have enough money to fund the project. It’s essential to avoid using all your savings on one project as you still have other things to take care of.

02. Home Improvement Loan

If you don’t have enough money in your saving account, you can get funding from your local bank. Thus, you don’t have to pay cash upfront. It’s crucial to visit more than one lender to guarantee you get a pocket-friendly loan. 

You can also borrow from friends and loved ones. However, this can lead to a strained relationship if you won’t honor the end of the bargain. But research extensively to guarantee you choose the right financing option for your project. 

03. Shop Around For Estimates

Over the years, there have been many service providers that can undertake your lighting project. Each contractor has a different rate card and service quality. Hence, shopping around and understanding the average local cost is necessary. Compare their services, experiences, and charges. This makes it easier to choose a company providing quality services at an affordable price, giving you value for your money.

04. Consider Maintenance Costs

When you purchase landscape lighting, it won’t end there. You’ll be expected to maintain and repair them regularly. The ongoing cost, such as new bulbs and energy bills, varies from one type to another. Thus, choosing one with a lower maintenance cost down the road is crucial.

How to Use Landscape Lighting?

How you’ll use your landscape lighting hugely influences the amount of drama in a yard. The following are the techniques you can use in your outdoor living spaces, backyard oasis, and gardens:

01. Highlighting

This effect is created by placing a spotlight at the base of an outdoor structure. The number of lighting fixtures you’ll use will influence the illumination of that particular structure. Some common structures you can highlight include statues, trees, and water features.

02. Moonlighting

This lighting technique involves placing the systems in an elevated position but away from your view. It casts a downward-facing light as if you’re boosting the moon. This causes attractive shadow patterns on the ground. It can be used to illuminate water features such as ponds.

Landscape Lighting Mistakes to Avoid

It’s easier to commit mistakes when managing your landscape lighting project. They include:

01. Overloading the Transformer

Every transformer has the correct number of devices it can handle. If you overload it, you risk damaging it, ultimately affecting your overall lighting. However, you can avoid this by connecting the correct number of landscape lighting systems. Also, you can purchase a new transformer with a higher capacity to support your lighting systems.

02. Poor Maintenance Practices

Most homeowners may fail to check and repair their lighting systems regularly.

Results: End up with an ineffective system that may cost more in the long run. However, it’s crucial to implement the ideal maintenance plan to guarantee it’s always in optimal condition.

03. Creating Light Pollution

The purpose of landscape lighting is to make it easier for you to move from one point to another. But if there’s too much light or glare, you’re creating light pollution. This makes it difficult for people to see, affecting the whole experience.

However, you can avoid this by installing lighting systems with glare guards. Also, avoid shining your light directly onto the road or neighbor’s home.

In Summary

As discussed above, landscape lighting has become a necessity for most homeowners. However, getting the lighting can be challenging, especially if you’re a newbie. Thus, it’s crucial to consider factors such as purpose, budget, and energy use. Additionally, avoid mistakes such as light pollution, which could affect the effectiveness of the whole project.

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